In May 2009 I ventured to the Canal Room to see one of my very favorite singer/songwriters perform. I wasn't familiar with the act opening for him, but enjoyed her performance as much as the man I'd come to see. Rose was backed by four gentlemen: a keyboardist, a guitarist, a drummer and an upright bassist. When Rose introduced her band at the end of her set, she announced that 3/4 of the men were single (sorry ladies, the keyboardist had a girlfriend!) and she'd auction them off to the highest bidder if we approached her with an offer. I was so pleased! I'd had my eye on Phil, the string bassist, for the past hour. Tall, dark, handsome, sophisticated, and could he move those fingers! Watching him play was poetry in motion. However, I couldn't tell whether Rose was joking about the auction or not... either option seemed equally plausible to me.
I found Rose mingling with the crowd between sets and told her how much I had loved her music, admitting that I had never heard of her before but was now a fan... "and by the way, I'll give you five dollars for Phil." Rose looked absolutely delighted. She said she'd attempted the auction at every stop on their tour and I was the first person to take her up on it. She began searching the crowd for Phil, but he was nowhere to be seen. That was just fine with me, as I hadn't expected her to grab him immediately and declare he'd been sold (and that the highest bid was a mere five bucks)! She then told me to meet her at her merch table at the end of the night.
Before heading out after the last band, I made my way to Rose's merch table as promised. There was a line, but when she looked up and I caught her eye, she beckoned me to the front. She dialed her phone and simply said, "hey Phil, she's here" then hang up and said to me, "he'll be over in a minute." And in less than sixty seconds, there he was. Rose continued to ignore her waiting fans to introduce me to Phil, and then we talked for ten minutes or so. I apologized for only bidding five dollars, but said I hoped he could understand the life of a starving artist. He laughed and asked me about me: What part of the city did I live in? How often did I go to shows? What did I do for a living? He was adorable and sweet and took my number, putting it directly into his phone and asking for a precise spelling of my first and last name for accuracy. He said he was honored I had bid on him and that we definitely had to get together for a drink.
Of course he never called. And it was such a fun experience that I almost don't mind, and yet I do. Wouldn't that be the best "How I Met Your Mother" Story to tell the kids? "I was auctioned off at a concert and she bought me for five dollars." I've seen Rose perform a couple of times since then, but she now has a new string bassist. And I now have my eye on the drummer...